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Smuts

Fungal category. Ustilaginales. Basidiomycetes.

Distribution

Ubiquitous;
cosmopolitan.
Two families, 50 genera, and 950 species.

Where Found

On cereal crops, grasses, weeds, other fungi, and on other flowering plants.

Mode of Dissemination

Wind disperses the powdery brown teliospores of smut.

Allergen

Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

No reports of human infection by the plant parasitic forms.

Potential Toxin Production

Not known.

Growth Indoors

Smuts do not usually grow indoors. They are parasitic plant pathogens that require a living host for the completion of their life cycle.

Industrial Uses

Not known.

Other Comments

Smuts are members of the Basidiomycetes and have two spore types: teliospores (dry, powdery stage) and basidiospores (yeast stage).

Used with permission from EMLab P&K

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